church. Of this number 32 were received in 1858, as the fruits of the well-remembered and extensive revival with which the churches were graciously visited at that time. The whole number of names enrolled on the church records is 348—males 132.
The church was a beneficiary of the Vermont Domestic Missionary Society, until within three years. It is now self-sustaining, although by no means pecuniarily strong.
MY FATHER AND HIS OLD MEETING‑HOUSE.
BY ELIZA D. W. PARSON,
Daughter of Rev. John Willard, first settled minister of Lunenburgh.
Backward receding thought, with pensive, humid eye,
Counts o'er the buds that strewed the paths of days gone by,
And doating memory's tears, their faded tints renew,
As withered roses wake besprint with evening dews.
Oh! childhood bath its dreams of loveliness and light,
And youth its golden hopes of undefined delight;
But aye, amid these groups, baptized with fancy's fire
That thronged my gay, young soul, thine image shone, my sire.
I love to thread the maze of long-remembered things,
And touch those filial notes that thrilled my heart's soft strings;
A child upon thy knees, I list thy lullaby,
And watch the tender smile that lights thy lip and eye.
Onward, in riper years, I wander by thy side,
Where fragrant wild flowers gleam, and silver waters glide,
The chanting of soft winds or carrols of bright birds
Are not so sweet to me as my bland father's words.
Now in the forest cot I see the joining hands,
Entwining blessings rich, with hallowed nuptial bands;
Or, noiseless kneeling down, beside the couch of death,
Thy whispered prayers ascend with life's last gasping breath.
I seek thy mouldering home, now level with green earth,
And stand upon that stone that formed thy humble hearth;
The walls around me rise, thy table and arm chair,
Thy books of solemn lore, thy chastened looks, thy prayer.
But most I love to haunt, this lonely ancient pile,
That makes the scoffer jest, and breeds his idiot smile,
For here sweet phantoms float before my spirit's eye,
With shapes, and hues, and tones like dear reality.
Within that rude old desk, with swinging canopy,
I see thee stretch thy hand and raise thy suppliant eye,
Heaven's melting masses move—the angel-dove descends,
And with thine earnest voice its purest treasure blends.
'Twas not for thee to rend fond nature's precious ties,
Or chill with savage fear her dearest sympathies;
Oh! no, my sainted sire, a holier task was thine—
To pour o'er broken hearts unpurchased oil and wine.
I view a glittering font—within a crystal tide—
And infant faces gleam, that limped wave beside;
As on their snowy brows thou fling'st the radiant drops,
Thy dewy eyelids show thy tender fears and hopes.
Again these visions change—I see a table spread,
And thou the serving-one, dispensing wine and bread
Like Him of Sinai's cliffs, who wore the glow divine,—
With peace, with love, with joy, thy kindled features shine.
Once more in sable garbs, I see a mourning crowd
Surround the coffined dead, with sore affliction bowed,
And thou with flooded eyes, to soothe that stormy grief,
Dost glean rich healing balm from off the sacred leaf.
What fills the picture scene? 'Tis yonder circling throng,
Where youth and beauty chant the ancient holy song,—
Pleased if their pastor's glance their rustic strains approve,
That wake his listening soul to thanks, to praise, to love.
From out these shattered panes thy resting place I view,
Hoary with snowy trees, or might with rain and dew;
In that deserted aisle they placed thy lifeless clay,
Through these discolored doors they bore thy bier away.
Father! thy work is done—to thee this house is nought,
Bright is thy dwelling-place, 'mid temples spirit-wrought;
It is for me to mourn the ruin sad and drear,
That hangs on every scene thy presence rendered dear.
Adieu! thou time-worn dome, thou venerable bond,
That tiest me to the past with links of feeling strong;
Thou too must pass away—to-morrow's sunset beam
Will e'er thy prostrate walls and naked basement stream.
Thy lethean doom decreed, thou monument of all,
A pastor's faithful love, or parent's worth must fall!
Be still, my throbbing heart,—within thy crimson cell
There are more memories grand than pyramids could tell!
BY HON. MOODY RICH.
Maidstone was chartered by Gov. Wentworth, of New Hampshire, under George III., Oct. 12, 1761; bounded N. by Brunswick, S. by Guildhall, E. by Connecticut river, W. by Granby and Ferdinand; containing, as chartered, 25,000 acres.
The proprietors under the N. H. grants immediately proceeded to organize their proprietary body, after the granting of said charter, and the first meeting was held at the house of Elisha Mills, in Stratford, Ct., on the 2nd Tuesday of November, 1761; and at a meeting of the proprietors at the same place as above, held Aug. 17, 1762, it was decided to get the township of Maidstone surveyed and laid out—and William Emmes, Thomas French and John Yates were appointed the committee, and to receive for their
services 7s 6d per day while on that service, they bearing the expenses of themselves and horses; but all other charges necessary to prosecute said affair to be borne by the proprietors—and £66 were raised by vote of the proprietors to defray the expense of the survey. Under this vote the township was first located.
This comprises all that was done towards the promotion of
the settlement of this town, so far as I have been able to ascertain, before
the difficulty arose under the conflicting grants from
The following minutes, from the proprietors' records, comprises the whole history of this conflict of grants as far as it relates to this town particularly:
In 1764 the king of
The grantees of Maidstone
appointed Capt. John Brooks their agent, to meet with other agents in
The last proprietors' meeting, which was held in
"Whereas we have appointed Mr. Nehemiah De Forest
our agent to go up to the governor of
N. B. We received an answer from the governor of
The further particulars of this controversy it is
unnecessary to state here, as they have been written in every complete history
Another great hindrance to the settlement of the country was the long distance which provisions and other necessaries of life had to be transported through the wilderness. At the time the first settlements were made here the nearest place where provisions could be procured, grain ground, or a horse shod, was at Haverhill, N. H., 50 miles down the river; and if the freight could not be brought on horseback, the journey must be made on the river, as the best road was a bridle path marked by spotted trees.
I have often heard the early settlers say, "They must have starved, during the long winters, if it had not been for the wild game they caught."
At present we value the beautiful Connecticut river—the name of which is derived from two Indian words that signify "long river"—for the richness of the soil of its interval lands lying upon each side through its whole course, from Lake Connecticut to its mouth; but in those days its adjacent forests afforded a more immediate resource to the
settlers in the wild animals that were found there—many of which have now nearly disappeared from this vicinity—as the moose, deer, bear, beaver and otter. Wild game and ducks were then also abundant, and the river furnished supplies of fish that would gratify the pampered appetite of an epicure—as salmon, shad and trout.
The proprietors were zealous in their endeavors to promote the settlement of their lands. From the record of their meeting held March 18, 1779, I take the following:
"Whereas Mr. Abner Osgood is building a grist-mill in said township, which we suppose will be of great advantage to the settlers, and to encourage him in so good an undertaking,—Voted, that we will give him, in case he effects said work, one whole dividing right or share equal to one full right or share of each proprietor, and that he have liberty to lay out one hundred acres of said right at the place where he builds the grist-mill, to be in a square piece, half on one side of the stream and half on the other where he builds said mill; provided, he completes said mill and continues to keep it in good repair, and will hold the same by and under the proprietors."
Mr. Osgood did complete his mill; but it proved to be in
the town of
In order to consult some effectual method to secure the title and speedy settlement of the township, and to encourage the same, the proprietors, at a meeting Feb. 26, 1772, voted that each settler who should, as soon as may be the ensuing summer, proceed to begin a settlement and make an improvement, and annually continue the same, shall be allowed a reward of 100 acres of land, proportioned in intervals and upland, in the same manner as other proprietors; and they also appointed Joseph Holbrook and Arthur Wooster a committee to locate the corner boundaries of the township upon the river; and it was also voted to give them $10 each, besides a reasonable reward for their services, as an encouragement to their going up to the Great Coos the ensuing summer with a design to accomplish this work. And in the May following they were directed to take the advice of Col. Bailey, and if he thought proper and necessary, in order to obtain a new grant, they were empowered and directed to survey the whole township.
This committee never accomplished the business for which they were appointed. Mr. Holbrook fell in disgrace, was a source of much vexation to the proprietors, who, after years of forbearance, Voted, never thereafter to trouble him with their money or any place of trust.*
In December, 1774, the proprietors allowed to Arthur and
Thomas Wooster each 100 acres of land, as a reward for beginning a settlement
Micah Amy, John Sawyer, J. Sawyer, Jr., Deliverance Sawyer, Benj. Sawyer, Mr. Merrill, Enoch Hall, Benj .Whitcomb, John French, and Jeremy Merrill, who had settled in said township and begun improvements, were each allowed 100 acres, to be proportioned in intervals and uplands together; provided, they paid their proportion of taxes, and consented to hold the same under the proprietors and for them, and that they continue their respective settlements and improvements from year to year at least 5 years. As above, we have the names of twelve settlers in town commencing in 1772, and prior to 1774, besides the Col. Bailey whom the said committee is directed to take the advice of, is supposed to be Ward Bailey, who was one of the first settlers. There were others, of a still earlier date, of whose names we have no record. One, Mr. Mardeen, lived near the small brook still bearing his name, which runs across the highway between Mr. Beattie's and Dr. Dewey's, probably as early as 1770. He might have been the first mechanic in town, as he was basket maker. A son of his, born about 1770, weighing two and a half pounds at birth, attained at full maturity to the very respectable weight of two hundred and some odd pounds—perhaps was the first child born in town.
Mr. Jeremy Merrill, above named, lived in town but few years, on the farm now owned by E. McDade, and at last met a sudden death: He went to a neighbor's to borrow a fan for separating chaff from grain; elevating the fan over his head, he started for home—on the way a limb from a tree fell on the fan,
* See account in Judd's Record, in
killing him instantly. He was probably one of the first buried in the lower public burying ground in this town. Many may remember, some 25 or 30 years ago, seeing human bones washed out by heavy rains from the east side of the burying ground near the river. It is supposed they were his.
Messrs. David Gaskill, Abraham Gile, Benjamin Byron, John Hugh, E. Torrey, Jos. Wooster, Reuben Hawkins and some others came into this town about the year 1780 and '81.
The Indians in this part of the country were of the St.
Francis tribe in
The Tories were leagued with the Indians in opposition to the Revolutionists, and as the latter could get no assistance from govment, they were obliged to rely entirely upon their own resources for self-defence against this internal enemy.
The inhabitants of both sides of the Connecticut river, in this vicinity, united together for the purpose of self-protection, and chose a committee of safety and built forts for the protection of the women and children. There were three forts built—two in Northumberland, one at the mouth of Ammonoosuc river, opposite Jacob Rich's home farm; one on the Marshall farm, now owned by Charles V. Woods; and one in Stratford, nearly opposite Mr. Joseph Merrill's, in the north part of the town. Whenever the alarm was given that the "Indians or tories were coming," the women and children would flee to the forts.
One incident, worthy remembrance, as showing somewhat of the trials and hardships to which young mothers were subject in those days of unremitting fear and anxiety, is as follows: The young wife of Caleb Marshall, on whose farm one of those forts was built, after seeing the most valuable of her house‑hold goods buried in the earth, mounted her horse, with a child of about two years and an infant of three weeks old, and went on unattended through the wilderness and sparsely settled towns a portion of the way, to her own and her husband's parents in Hampstead, N. H., a distance of 160 miles, where she arrived in safety. The infant of three weeks, in after years, became the good and faithful wife of the writer of this sketch—blessed be her memory. She departed this life March 26, 1858.
Ward Bailey was chosen Captain to take command of these
forts and the forces raised to guard them. The young
and able-bodied men were sent as scouts to the woods, to prevent surprise from
the enemy, and those who were not able to go to the woods on this duty were
left in the immediate charge of the forts. Capt. Bailey was living in
throw him a bit, saying, "you all one dog, take that."
Mr. Luther was afterward redeemed from his captivity, and
married the girl from whom he was thus unexpectedly taken, and lived with her
in the town of
[In connection with the Indian history is also the following interesting account received from Miss B. T. Rich, daughter of the writer of this record for Maidstone, since the receipt of her father's papers.—Ed.]
"We had a visit yesterday from an aged lady who told me of a Mrs. Chapman, whose husband was at work in the field and attacked by a party of Indians and his head split open, falling down half one side and half the other, in sight of his wife in the house, who took her three children and fled to the woods, in hearing of the house. One of the children was a very crying babe, which she put to the breast, every moment expecting it would cry and discover her place of concealment.
While thus hid under the trees and thick foliage, she could hear the Indians come to the house and imitate, as well as they could, her husband's voice—saying, "Come, Molly, the Indians gone; come back, Molly, come." As she did not come, they went away, and she with her children were saved. No tongue could tell her sufferings as they passed near her several times in the search, and she expecting to see her children murdered every moment. She had to cross the river to a neighbor's, to make known her sorrow, which she did by wading through, carrying one child, then returning for another, until all were over safely.
My informant does not remember whether Mr. Chapman lived in Brunswick or in Maidstone, at the time; if in B., perhaps you have the story in their history.* She had the narrative from Mrs. Chapman's own lips years ago, and many years after the tragedy happened, which the poor woman even then told with streaming eyes and choking grief. It shows what people suffered here in those perilous days.
This lady also told me that John French, father of Major Hains French, kept for a long time secreted under a hay stack, his wife carrying him food after dark, as the savages were determined to take him, dead or alive.
They went in the night to the house of Hezekiah Fuller, who, hearing them coming, slipped down behind the bed. They asked his wife where her sannup was, she said he was gone , they then took her large linen apron and filled it with sugar and left the house, much to the relief of its frightened inmates."
During the excitement on account of the tories and their allies a young man, by the name of Ozias Caswell, drawing a heavy load of hay from a meadow, his oxen refused to draw the load up the steep bank, and Caswell was exceedingly vexed at his ill luck; finally he took the oxen from the load and set it on fire, giving an alarm that the "Indians burned his hay," which caused all the inhabitants to flee to the forts with much confusion. No Indians being found, Caswell was charged with having raised a false alarm, and, after a longtime, acknowledged his guilt and was severely punished for the offence.
It well becomes those who sit securely by their hearthstones with their children gathered about them, fearing no stealthy attack from an insidious foe, to thankfully acknowledge that "their lines have fallen in pleasant places;" and also to cherish, with tenderest feelings of veneration and respect, the memory of ancestors who, amidst perils and privations, prepared the way for all they now enjoy.
About the close of the Revolutionary war John Rich and Hezekiah Fuller (came previous, as I am informed), and soon after Jas. Lucas, Wm. Williams and others moved into town with their families.
In 1786 Eben W. Judd surveyed
and lotted the lands of the town, and the unsettled
The first public school in town was taught by Mrs. —— Amy,
in 1786, in a log-house just east of the present residence of J. W. Webb. The
scholars came from the three towns of
In this year Ward Bailey built a grist-mill and saw-mill,
* As we have not the story in
In March, 1788, the town was organized. James Lucas was moderator of the first town meeting, and Hains French, first town clerk. In 1786 Messrs. John Rich, John Hugh and David Gaskill were appointed a committee to alter the highway through the town, where they thought most advantageous to the public. The road was probably laid out sometime previous.
Dr. Enoch Cheney and family came here about this time and built a house for himself on the little rise of ground a few rods north of J. W. Webb's; the highway now passes over the site of his dwelling. He remaind here a few years, and said the country was so healthy he could not support his family; therefore, sold his property and left town, hoping to find a location where his professional services would he in better demand.
From 1786 to 1800 Messrs. Isaac Stevens, Moses Hall,
Holloway Taylor, John Taylor Gibb, Jonathan Patterson, Isaac Smith, and Joseph
Merrill, moved into town with their families. Isaac Stevens kept the first
public house, and Isaac Smith the second store in town, where Dr. Dewey now
lives—Abraham Gile's being the first store in town.
Mr. Gile, possessing more artifice than honesty, sold
a quantity of land lying on the unknown river to
Joseph Merrill, named above, is still living, and is the oldest man in town (1862), is about 87, and retains a remarkable memory for one of his age.
About 1796 the organization of the
In 1803 Dr. Tabor located himself in town. His residence
was near the river, less than one-half mile above
The present number of school districts in town are 7, and average time of schooling in a year 5 months, except private schools in families; number of scholars, 65. We have no high school established here, but the fact that every farm through the town on the river has supported children of its owner at some of the high schools of the country shows that the people are not entirely indifferent to education and its objects.
Maidstone has had of
Hains French, 2 years, 1809 and 1810.
No. of elections. of service.
John Rich, 1 1791
Hains French, 1 1793
Moody Rich, 2 1843
Jesse Hugh 1 1822
Daniel Rich 1 1828
Joseph Gleason, 1 1836
Charles Stevens, 1 1850
COUNCIL OF CENSORS.
John Dewey, 1 1848
JUDGES OF PROBATE.
James Lucas, 3 1798
Joseph Gleason, 3 1839
Moody Rich, 2 1844
Moody Rich, 5 1827
Jesse Hugh, 1 1816
Rich Stevens, 5 1828
D. H. Beattie, 3 1857
CLERK OF COUNTY COURT.
Hains French, 12 1813
Moody Rich, 1 1841
John Dewey, 1 1857
Thomas G. Beattie, 2 1861
No. of First period Last period
elections. of service. of service.
Abraham Gild, 1 1781
John Rich, 5 1785 1791
David Gaskill, 1 1789
Hains French, 9 1793 1807
James Lucas, 2 1795 1798
Jacob Rich, 1 1799
Joseph Wooster, 1 1800
Isaac Stevens, 1 1801
Jesse Hugh, 7 1806 1828
Moody Rich 15 1809 1848
Rich Stevens, 1 1815
S. G. Hinman, 1 1816
Daniel Rich, 5 1820 1834
Joseph Gleason, 2 1832 1833
G. A. Hall, 2 1835 1836
Joseph Rich, 2 1837 1838
D. Merrill, 2 1810 1841
Leonard Walker, 2 1842 1813
James Follansby, 2 1844 1845
Charles Stevens, 3 1847 1855
D. C. Kimball, 2 1850 1851
P. R. Follansby, 4 1852 1859
G. Beattie, 3 1854 1857
J. W. Webb, 2 1860 1861
P. R. Follansby, 2 elections. 1859
was born in
After some length of time another claimant came for the land, and as there was no alternative, it was again paid for. Of this tract of land he made four farms, one each for three sons, John, Henry and Jacob, reserving the homestead for his youngest son Moody, who has lived on the same 78 years, and is now at the advanced age of 82, the only person in town who was an inhabitant of the same when it was organized. The three sons above named lived and died leaving families on the farms purchased by their father.
Mr. Rich was an energetic, enterprising man for the times, zealously engaged in whatever would promote the welfare of the town, not willing to entrust its interests committed to him in other hands, as one anecdote will show. He spoke with the brogue of his native land, and when in the legislature at one time he had an unusual amount of business to lay before the house: A young lawyer proposed to do the necessary talking on the occasion, saying, "Some may not readily understand you," Mr. R. replies, "Do you understand me?" "O yes, perfectly well sir." "Then that is enough for you, I will do my own talking." He was strongly democratic in principle, regarded the right of suffrage as a sacred inheritance, and enjoined its observance upon all freemen as a duty on which depended the freedom of the country—believing that through neglect of this the liberty of Germany was lost, and consequently the tyranny he had witnessed in his fatherland He was moreover a warm friend of religion, and the observance of the Sabbath—always attending religious meetings when possible, and frequently hiring ministers for occasional services and paying them from his own purse. He was honest and upright in all business transactions; in his domestic relations kind and pleasant tempered. He died Sept. 31, 1813, aged 84 years and 6 months.
Mrs. Catharine Sophia Rich was remarkable for industry, economy and liberality, as well as an accumulating faculty that filled her house with an abundance from which she dispensed with bountiful hand to those in need, none such going empty-handed from her door. She died April 14, 1818, aged 82 years.
THE HUGH FAMILY
Among the earliest settlers of Maidstone
was John Hugh, who was born in
While in the company of four other boys of his own age along the banks of the Frith of Forth enjoying a holiday at the age of 16, he with the others were enticed to go on board a small vessel lying not far distant. After they were on board they soon learned that they were captives to a press-gang then in the employ of and sanctioned by the British government. They were soon placed on board of a man of war, and neither ever saw their home, kindred or country again.
At this period the English were at war with the French,
and the vessel was bound for the Colonies in
The subject of this narrative, from this time to the
commencement of the Revolutionary War, made his home with his benefactor, and
subsequently married Anna Harriman, his daughter. He was in the War of the Revolution,
and fought at the battles of Bunker Hill,
By this time some of the sons had grown up, and owing to their skill with the gun, and their experience in border-life, they gave great offence to the Indians. The settlers never went into the woods to hunt for cattle, nor into the fields to work, but what they had fire-arms always at hand. In addition to the hatred the Indians bore to John Hugh and sons, they had a pecuniary motive in taking them prisoners, dead or alive, for a bounty was paid the Indians by the British government for all prisoners taken alive into Canada, and $5 for each scalp.
About this time a party of British Indians came in from
the Hughs saved themselves from captivity, and perhaps their lives.
ANNA HUGH was a noble woman, and bore the heat and burden
of those early days of toil and self-denial with a true woman's fortitude. As
an evidence of her kind heart, it is related that shortly after they came into
the settlement, three captive men who had escaped from the Indians somewhere in
John Hugh was a plain, sober, industrious man, and died respected by his friends and neighbors, Sept. 27, 1814. His wife died the year before, and both lie side by side in the little burying-ground in the town.
It might perhaps be proper to add that he raised a large
family of sons and daughters, namely, John, Jesse, James, Joab,
Samuel, Anna, Sally and Dorcas, and most of them
lived to an advanced age—all having passed away except Dorcas.
The three last named sons, from 1810 to 1817, believing that "Westward the
star of empire wends its way," moved to the
Like many other Westernisms,
without any reason therefor, the name of
"Hughes" was substituted for "Hugh," the true family Scotch
name. Many of the descendants of these sons and daughters have moved still
farther west and are now found in many of the northwestern States. Two of the
sons of Joab—John M. Hugh, Esq., and Hon. Arthur
Hugh—are among the most prominent public men of
"Dear Molly: In less than one week the British forces here will be ours. Send every man from the farm that will come, and let the haying go to hell." This was characteristic of the General.
Few men had such a general store of knowledge as John Hugh
tho younger. It was culled from every source of
knowledge. His memory was remarkable, and often people would come from a
distance to gather from his great store-house of information facts and
incidents in connection with the early settlement of the country. He lived in
the town of
the youngest son of John Hugh, lived at a time when there was
occasionally a school of a few weeks in the winter season. This however was
limited to a few of what are now called elementary studies, such as spelling,
reading and writing, with the ground rules of arithmetic—geography in those dayS being rather too classical. Previous to the war of
1812 he was appointed Deputy Collector of the State of
ued so until he was forcibly taken from his own house in
Canaan by a band of ruffians from
Hearing that a large drove of cattle was being started through by the smugglers, Samuel Hugh gathered together a number of men and pursued them. Among the number were Ephraim Mahurin, Eleazer Slocum, Wm. McAllister, — Cogswell, and several others—all armed. The party did not succeed in overtaking the drove of cattle until they got over the line and had been delivered to the purchasers, who were also in force expecting a conflict. Samuel Hugh was a powerful man, over 6 feet high and weighed over 200 pounds. Two men by the name of Morrill also powerful men attacked him at once, and having knocked one of them down, the other was in the very act of snapping a loaded gun at Hugh's breast before h could use his own weapon again, when some one from the American party more expert fired his rifle and Morrill fell dead. As several guns were discharged at the same time, it was never known to whom Hugh was indebted for his life.
In the melee another of the Canadian party was wounded.
His name was also Morrill and a brother to the one who was killed. There was
also a third man by the same name, and was a nephew of the others. It was he
who made the attack on Hugh as before mentioned. He had previously discharged
his gun at him loaded with ball and buck-shot. The charge passed through Mr.
Hugh's clothing, but did no injury to his person. But about 4 weeks after the
affair, in the dead of night, Samuel Hugh's house was surrounded by an armed party
Immediately all the stock and whatever property they could lay their hands on was taken and hurried off. Mr. Hugh himself was placed on a horse with his feet tied under the horse, and armed men walked on each side to guard him. This was in extreme cold weather in November, 1814. The news spread like wild fire, and soon as a large party could be collected—which was not until the next day at noon—to rescue Mr. H., they started in full pursuit. But before they got through the woods they found that they were too far behind to overtake the enemy, and returned.
Mr. H. was first taken to Stanstead.
Here he sent across the line to David Hopkinson his brother-in-law who then
Again Mr. H. was loaded with chains and confined in a dark, loathsome cell. His suf‑
ferings from vermin and filth, with fare that Christians would
have hardly offered their lowest brutes, soon reduced Mr. H. to a mere skeleton
compared with what he was before entering a British prison. In addition to
this, all manner of abuse and indignities were heaped upon him. Soon after
peace was declared his friends got up petitions which were forwarded to the
Governor of Vermont, and he procured what official papers were necessary and
authorized Seth Cushman, of Guildhall, to go to
The legislature of
Samuel Hugh died about eight years ago, as he had lived, an honored and patriotic man, respected and remembered by all who knew him.
His wife was Rachel Bailey, sister to Ward Bailey, who
GEORGE WASHINGTON BYRON,
the principal subject of this sketch, was born in
two are enough to catch a, rabbit." This was not so much from irreligion, as a habit he always had of relying on his own exertions and using proper means for whatever he wished to accomplish. His chance for education was very limited, as he had to go about three miles to school, but he acquired a passable knowledge of the common branches. But this life, free from restraint, was giving his body a vigor and health that rendered him able in after years to endure many hardships necessary for him to encounter; and he was acquiring a knowledge of nature with a habit of reasoning which, combined with good judgment, was very useful. When little more than 16 it became necessary for him to take the management of business, as his father had not a good business faculty. He learned the trade of his father, and commenced life in earnest. Being ingenious, he worked at all kinds of business, and whatever he wished to do he found a way of doing. He bought land adjoining his lot, with a view of improving his farm,—thinking a farmer's life the best. He built a convenient house and other buildings, an gave his parents a comfortable home, as they lived to an advanced age. His affection for his mother was a marked trait of his character, and it continued unabated while he lived. He received no aid pecuniarily, as his father's property would not pay the debts; therefore it was sometimes necessary to turn short corners. He was prompt to pay. At one time a man to whom he was owing money, came to him as he was ploughing in the spring with the first yoke of oxen he ever owned, and wished to buy them—not so much to get the debt, but cattle were scarce. He said he thought a moment of his need of them as he did not know where he could get more,—but it would pay the debt, and he immediately unhitched them, though, he added, tears would come to his eyes as he did so. But he accumulated a good property, and having earned it himself knew how to make good use of it. He did not aspire to office, but his good judgment was often very efficient in many of the business transactions of the town. He also took a lively interest in schools, that others might receive the benefit of what he felt so much in need. He was very industrious, seldom ever being idle an hour, which accounted for the great amount of labor which he performed. He lived to be threescore and ten, yet was never old. He retained all his faculties nearly perfect (especially a remarkable memory), and his last day's work was, he said, as great as he ever did. It was probably the cause of the acute rheumatism with a lung fever that so suddenly terminated his life. He died April 17, 1846. He was married about 1806, to Mary, daughter of Antipas Marshall, of Northumberland, N. H. She died 1824, leaving 8 children to mourn the loss of an excellent mother, and a husband who never forgot her worth. He was married again to Nancy, daughter of Caleb Marshall, of Northumberland, a second cousin to his first wife. She still lives on the same farm, keeping it in the original name. She had 4 children, making 14 in all. Twelve of the children lived to be men and women grown seven are now living. The children possessed the same ingenuity of their father, but he, thinking his boys better be farmers, tried to keep them from the shop. This perhaps made them desire to be there more, for when he was going from home he would take the precaution to fasten the windows and doors to keep them out; but as soon as he was out of sight, they would climb upon the roof and get in at the chamber windows, and work till about time for him to come, taking care to put every tool just where they found it. But he soon suspected them, and concluded they might as well follow the bent of their inclination; and not one of them was ever a farmer.
We would notice particularly one of the youngest daughters, Eliza Augusta, born June 1, 1828. She was a person of very delicate health, but of great energy and perseverance. When a child she could not endure what most children can, yet it was very hard for her to refrain from engaging in what her active, aspiring mind prompted. She would insist on attending school when she was not able to do so. She entered into all the amusements for young people with an eagerness natural to a lively disposition, and in whatever she engaged rendered herself very agreeable. She had an impression from a child that she should die young, and was often desirous of becoming familiar with sickness and death, when occurring among her friends. She always entertained an idea that she would sometime be a Christian, but it was not till she was eighteen that she man‑
ifested that bright and shining example which always marked her
after-years. Then her character matured rapidly, and she engaged in everything
good and worthy with an avidity which indicated a short life. The
and family moved to
Mr. G. was a singular man in many of his ways: When upon his death-bed, Col. Rich Stevens called to see him; when inquired of about his health, he replied that he was growing worse, and could not live long, and requested Mr. Stevens to attend his funeral and, after he was lowered in the grave, to ask in a loud voice—"David Gaskill, is it all well with thee?" and if it was not all well, he would answer. Mr. S. accordingly attended the funeral, and after the mourners had retired, knelt by the grave and fulfilled the last request of his neighbor,—receiving no answer, he went away with the assurance that it was all well with David Gaskill. He was an honest, upright man, and died about the year 1826.
MAJOR JAMES LUCAS,
who was one of the early settlers, contributed much to the
settlement and advancement of this town. He was born in
he went to the house and asked Mrs. Lucas for the
"old Queen's arm" and some duck shot, as there were some ducks in the
river, and it was given to him without suspicion, and he returned to his work.
Soon the young Indians came down and commenced their former antics until John's
patience was exhausted and he blazed away at them and wounded three of their
number—one badly. He soon after returned to the house, where he was asked if he
had killed any ducks? John answered—no, but he had
wounded some; soon he became silent and moody,—when asked by Mrs. Lucas if he
was unwell he told what he had done, and she became much alarmed in the absence
of her husband as it was coming night. She set herself immediately about
secreting John in an empty cask in the cellar. Soon Major Lucas came and
learned the difficulty, and the Indians came home about the same time on the
other side. Lucas and his wife crossed over to the Indians immediately, and
assisted with lights in finding the one badly wounded, who
had drawn himself into the tall brakes, and would not answer when called to for
fear it was John. However, they all got well, and the old ones became pacified
after a time and John made his way, with help, to
Major Lucas died of cancer, at Northumberland, N. H., where he had previously removed in 1835, aged 83 years.
COL. RICH STEVENS
was born in
Col. Stevens was
One morning in the month of March, 1851, he started to
desiring rest from the cares of mercantile business, moved from
HENRY BLAKE M'LELLAN.
EXTRACT OF A LETTER FROM MISS B. T. RICH.*
"Henry Blake M'Lellan, son
of Isaac and Eliza M'Lellan, was born at
[A biography of his life (12 mo. some 300 or more pages) was published soon after his death, which has been in possession of the writer, but was unfortunately loaned to the county historian, and in his library at the
* Daughter of the historian of
time that it was lately destroyed by fire."* The work is not now extant, and it is not known where another copy can be found,— otherwise, of this talented and once promising young man a full and complete biography might be herein given.—Ed.]
MAJ. RAINS FRENCH.
The father of the subject of this article was one of the
early settlers of
Hains, the second son, was born about the year 1760, and
at the early age of 15 became a waiter of Major Whitcomb in the Revolutionary
war, and subsequently enlisted. He went with the army of Gen. Montgomery down
Lake Champlain and was at the siege of
Having no early advantages of an education, Hains French neglected no opportunity to acquire the rudiments of a common school education, even after his marriage. It is a well authenticated fact that his first wife, among other things, taught him to write. Having an investigating mind, however, he read much of the general literature of the day, such as was then published. He was extremely fond of the study of ancient and modern history and spent much of his leisure time in perusing the best authors to be had. He also took a lively interest in the subject of the different forms of government, and was well versed in the diplomatic tactics of foreign courts. He was an ardent republican and a great friend of the Jeffersonian school of politicians.
Soon after the organization of the
Being clerk of the court, it naturally led him to the investigation of the principles of law, and from that to a small practice, in which it is said he was very successful. One of his early efforts, it may not be out of place to remark here, was not only characteristic
* The only library of any importance that we found in
of the liberality of the man in religious matters, but a chronological event in the history of the separation of church and state in that quarter of Now England:
It appears that at that early period the tithing system,
as known in
Mr. French was proverbially a social man, and the soul of a gathering among the early settlers for an evening before the old-fashioned fireplace filled with a blazing fire. To have a good practical joke or pun, a song and a story, were the best kind of an entertainment—believing in the old couplet:
"That a little fun now and then
Is relish'd by the best of men."
The war of 1812 found Mr. French engaged upon his small
During the summer, Maj. French was engaged in drilling and
disciplining his regiment at
The subject of this memoir was literally a self-made man of more than ordinary natural endowments—patriotic in his devotion to his country, strictly honest and honorable in his deal, faithful in all offices of public trust, and died lamented. He was a brave officer, and sacrificed his life for his country. His last word was a prayer for a prolongation of his life to battle her cause. But
"The oar of victory, the plume, the wreath,
Defend not from the bolt of fate the brave;
No note the clarion of renown can breathe
To alarm the long night of the grave,
Or check the headlong haste of time's o'erwhelming
HON. VOLNEY FRENCH
was born in
thence he entered the
From one of his published letters, written at
"There is one thing." he says. "that I have aimed at—variety of matter, for there is so much
material I had only to choose my subject. I described to the reader a winter
passage over the ocean,—the commercial city of
From here Mr. F. visited
"The main object of attraction in the whole building,
and around which there is always a great crowd, is what is called the sepulcher
itself. This is a small but beautiful temple-like building, standing in the
center of the church. The marble material of which it is built has a rosy hue,
and was brought from the
which Mary, his mother, sat during the crucifixion; and, lastly, the place where the Empress Helena found, among a pile of rubbish, the true cross. The latter place was in a subterranean vault, many feet under the church, but brilliantly lighted with lamps. The crowds of processions moving solemnly along in various directions, with different orders of priests, the chanting of music, accompanied by the deep tones of the organ, the flitting past of spectral shadows of pale men and women, whose constant vigils make them appear to belong more to the dead than living, the low and sepulchral voices of the half-famished beggars that ask for alms,— all taken together invest the place with a reverential awe that cannot be easily effaced from the memory. But those who excited my sympathy and pity the most, were the poor worn out pilgrims who had come from foreign lands to see the spot where their Redeemer died, breathing on their lips from their hearts—
Where the holiest of memories pilgrim-like throng;
In the shade of the palms, by the shores of the sea,
On the hills of thy beauty, my heart is with thee.'
These poor creatures, with wasted limbs, blanched cheeks and sunken eyes, would be there early and late upon their bonded knees; and, from their earnest looks and anxious countenances, I have not the least reason to doubt the sincerity and earnestness of their devotions."
As has been before said, Mr. F. still resides in
DR. JOHN DEWEY.
BY WM. HEYWOOD, ESQ., OF LANCASTER, N. H. *
Dr. John Dewey, for many years a resident of Guildhall,
and before his death for many years a resident of Maidstone,
was one of the remarkable men of
He gave up his profession as a business about 1840, upon becoming involved in business of other kinds that required his whole time. He was married to Mary P., daughter of Capt. Thos. Carlisle, of Lancaster, N. H., in February, 1832. In 1841 he moved to a beautiful farm in Maidstone, where from his door he could overlook 200 acres of good interval, part of his possessions; and here ten years later, when unthought-of things come to pass, he could see for miles on the opposite side of the Connecticut River the cars of the Grand Trunk Railroad as they passed to and fro from the chief city of Maine to the chief city of Canada. Here he and his accomplished wife kept a most hospitable home; and many have been the times that acquaintances far and near have assembled there to enjoy such entertainment as no one else could dispense,—for the Doctor, besides his liberality, had the manners of an accomplished gentleman; and he was also a man of fine proportions and presence. The stranger also from city or country who might chance to stop in the neighborhood was sure to be invited to partake of their hospitalities. And there was no ostentation in this, but such generosity was a characteristic. And the poor never went hungry from his door,—many have been the bagsfull and the basketsfull and the back-loads with which the destitute of his neighborhood have been loaded from his stores.
Dr. Dewey was a. man of extraordinary perseverance and great energy of character. In politics he was a whig, and later a repub‑
* A native of Essex Co.
lican, and it never was with half assent that he supported and
advocated the measures of his party. I find for certain that for 12 years he
was a member of the Legislature of Vermont, and as I have not full access to
means of information, I am not sure but that he was longer. His first election
was to the House in 1826, and his last to the Senate
in 1851. He was also for several years judge of the county court, a member of
the council of censors, and for several years he received appointments from
the Legislature, such as director of the state prison, &c. The Doctor was
able in debate, and many of his speeches would be a credit to any debater and
worthy of any legislative body. But of these nothing remains but in the memory
of hearers, as in those days—and it is mostly so now—none of the debates of
that body were reported. In the course of his business he accumulated in his
hands a large amount of lands, consisting of many thousand acres in Essex county and in the adjoining
Dr. Dewey entered into the support of the government with zeal to put down the rebellion, and lent every aid in his power to that end.
In a summer evening he rode to the house of a neighbor, where in course of a talk upon political affairs he became excited, not from opposition (for in political opinion they did not differ), and on his way home he was attacked by a paralysis of the brain, and when he arrived home he was insensible, and was carried into the house and died the next morning, which was July 11, 1862.
No man in all the community could be more widely missed. It is always remarked how soon the community adjust themselves to the loss of any individual, no matter how great a space he may have occupied in the business and affairs of his section of country. But to the family and near friends of such a man the void does not close, and every day those that depended upon him feel that no one else can perform for them what he was accustomed to do, nor make whole the circle broken by his being taken away.
This beautiful sheet of water is situated near the western boundary of the town. It is three miles in length and one in width. Its waters are clear, deep and silvery, containing a species of trout called lunge. In 1853 a dam was made at the outlet, and the waters raised 6 feet, affording the most desirable water-power. At the same time a saw-mill was erected by Mr. Norris, which has manufactured large quantities of lumber, and is now in operation.
This lake is surrounded entirely by a forest of pine, spruce and hemlock. On the eastern side of the lake, near the base of a hill, is a cave which is occasionally visited by explorers of nature's wonders, some of whom have traversed its subterranean passage to the distance of 200 feet.
This portion of the town, of about five thousand acres, is
very well adapted to cultivation and improvement is covered with pine, spruce
and hemlock, interspersed with birch, cedar, and rock-maple, and is watered by
Paul stream, which has its rise in Granby and Ferdinand; running east and
receiving the waters of the lake, finds its way through the corner of
Brunswick, and empties into Connecticut river. This stream embraces superior
mill-privileges, and undoubtedly is not surpassed in northern
In 1854 a large saw-mill was erected on this stream, in Maidstone, which annually manufactures 2,000,000 feet of
lumber, which goes over the Grand Trunk railway to
There are two smaller saw-mills in town; one on the mill brook, built the past season on the site of an old one useless from age, by Z. K. Washburn; the other, on a small brook on the farm of James Follansby, and is now owned by J. Follansby & Joseph Rich. The first saw-mill in town was built on this brook by Moody Rich, in 1828.
This town is particularly rich in interval land, having
more acres, it is said, than any other town in
Historic little Maidstone, birth
place of heroes (see Biography), located picturesquely up toward the highlands,
or upon the upper banks of the fair Connecticut, is, for loveliness of
landscape, unsurpassed in all Switzerland-like New England. Beautiful
* See page 1042
and cushions, &c., &c. You found the house so like a bird's nest—brown without but feather-lined within; you visited so good below, and slept so good above, you concluded these people in Essex about the happiest people in the world.—Editor.
[More names who were inhabitant's in Maidstone, Vt., in the year 1786: Caleb Amy, John Rich, James Lucas, Enoch Hall, Jeremy Merrell, John Hugh, John French,—Tory, Hains French, Benjamin Byrum, Joseph Wooster, Reuben Hawkins, Abraham Gile.]
John J. Rich, I 3 April, 1861.
Horace H. Rich, I 3 April, 1861.
Jos. W. Taylor,* I 3 April, 1861.
Jos. Hinman,* I 3 November, 1861.
Moody B. Rich, I 3 November, 1861.
Wm. J. S. Dewey, I 3 September, 1862.
Charles Ford,* I 3 September, 1862.
Albee Elliott,* I 3 September, 1862.
Fred England,* I 3 September, 1862.
Wm. W. Walker, I 3 September, 1862.
L. C. Luther, January, 1864.
Pat. Gleason, January, 1864.
Wm. W. Walker,* January, 1864.
Jos. H. Watson, I 3 March, 1864.
John J. Rich* I 3 March, 1864.
E. B. Smith,* I 3 March, 1864.
Geo. A. Ford, I 3 March, 1864.
Charles Keeney, September, 1864.
J. M. Lund, September, 1864.
And'w J. Pottle, K 8 September, 1864.
John Shallop, I 3
BY GEO. A.
Victory, a town situated in the southwestern portion of Essex Co., is in lat. 44° 32', lon. 5° 5'; bounded N. W. by Burke and Kirby, N. E. by Granby and East Haven, S. E. by Lunenburg and Concord, and R W. by Concord and Kirby.
It was designed originally to contain 23,040 acres, and a tract of land lying between Victory and
It was granted Nov. 8, 1780, and chartered Sept. 6, 1781, to Capt. Ebenezer Fisk and 64 associates, reserving 5 rights of 300 acres, viz. the college right, grammar school right, minister's right, church right and common school right.
The surface is diversified, but though literally
surrounded by ranges of mountains it is not comparatively very uneven, a large
portion of the town being included in the valley of the
There is also an elevation on the north, on the line
between Victory and
The Moose river rises in
The timber along the banks of the
The soil is generally fertile, and will compare favorably with adjoining towns. It is well adapted to the growing of potatoes, and most kinds of English grains.
In some parts of the town there is an abundance of granite, while other portions are comparatively free from stone of any kind, and there is but a very small proportion of the town which can properly be considered
* Names with star attached, died in the service.